Be it through a secular organization or company, or through an organization or program linked to a certain faith or denomination, or even through an ecumenical organization bringing together many beliefs and faiths we should all be set on helping out those who need. Many of us have been blessed with having more than we need. As it was so eloquently put (in describing the YAV program) "We are rich enough to be poor for a year". It is not bad to have excess but it is important that we use this wealth in ways to help out other who are in need. You can never go wrong when you end with a Winston Churchill quote so I will do that now: "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give."
Friday, September 3, 2010
We have been in the Sub-Continent now for three days. This has been a time of acclimatization in every sense of the word. The sights, sounds, smells, tastes and thoughts that I have experienced have been unlike any in my life. Whether it be the saffron parade of some Hindus including an elephant carrying an representation of a Hindu God or the sounds of the local Mosques call to prayer (I can distinctly hear three when) or the taste of all of the new food or the distinct smells of India. It has all been new to me. And, no matter how much you prepare mentally for this immersion I think it is safe to say you can never be fully prepared. Part of this must also come from the stark realization that these will, over the course of the year, become somewhat common place to me in my daily life.
Thomas John Achen, Kochamma, and Binu have been so wonderful in how they are handling our entry into this new environment. Achen teaches us Malayalam and cultural lessons. Binu continues these lessons with history, politics, music, etc. And, most importantly, Kochamma has the difficult task of slowly familiarizing our bodies with the food. With the touch of a master chef and the care of a mother she is slowly bringing us into the world of Indian food. Starting with more bland and less spicy foods and slowly working our way up. Last night at dinner she smiled to us after our meal was finished and said, “Today I included one pepper in the curry”— small steps to a larger goal.
As our minds and bodies become more accustomed to our surroundings we begin to take on bigger challenges. This morning we scoured through the Malayalam newspaper on the dinner table to try and find examples of vowel signs we had studied the afternoon before. It is a long process but with the support of those in our immediate surrounding and the encouragement from those close to us yet far away we will succeed.
We have short bible studies whenever we are at Achen’s house. He uses these bible lessons to highlight situations in an Indian and global context. Areas of injustice and oppression that we are all called on, not only Christians, to stand up against. We were looking at 1 Corinthians chapter 11 verses 17-34. Focusing on our call to provide food for those who need it as a way enacting how God has called us to live our lives. Today’s bible study ended with a moving quote from a Catholic colleague of Thomas John Achens. He said, “We are so concerned about turning the bread into flesh that we often forget to turn our flesh into bread.”
Posted by jimsimpson at 1:48 AM